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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 06-04-2009, 07:51 PM   #1
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Behind the Wheel - BC's Slow Down, Move Over Law

Emergency workers are very happy with BC's new slow down, move over law that came into effect June 1, 2009. When they are stopped at the side of the highway and displaying flashing lights, red, blue or yellow, approaching traffic is required to slow down and move over. This will provide a safe workspace for the emergency workers and hopefully also for those who are driving past.

The slow down half of the law requires overtaking motorists to slow to 70 km/h on highways posted at 80 km/h and higher and to 40 km/h in all other speed zones. My guess is that when this speed is enforced, very little, if any, wiggle room will be allowed. If you choose not to slow down to at least match the limit if not a bit less, you choose to risk a ticket.

The move over portion requires that if it is safe to do so, you will move into the unoccupied adjacent lanes. This could mean the adjacent lane in the same direction if there are multiple lanes, or the oncoming lane if there are not. Remember, if you have to use the oncoming lane, you have no lawful excuse to encroach on it when there is oncoming traffic.

Will the law increase safety? Only if drivers think and then act before they approach closely. Many times in the past I have watched vehicles overtake my stationary police car at or over the speed limit a foot from my door instead of slowing down and moving into the empty lane.

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Old 06-04-2009, 09:30 PM   #2
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I'm surprised how little media attention this has gotten. CHEK news spent three days hammering away at promoting road safety week, month.. whatever it is, but I have yet to see one news spot on the TV about this. The only way I heard about it was on the BC highway camera website. Even the overhead signs either side of the Malahat don't state that it is a law.
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:45 PM   #3
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I heard about this on GlobalTVBC news.
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:40 PM   #4
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The BC Government put out a press release on it in mid-April. I followed up with an article on my web site. If you are interested, you can use RSS to keep track of my site, which often contains new articles in addition to what I post here.

http://www.drivesmartbc.ca/rss.xml
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:05 PM   #5
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I have a funny little story regarding this issue. Literally the day after I heard about this new regulation, I had an ambulance behind me who just turned on his lights and siren. I immediately turned around and saw he was right behind me and turned to the side lane (no cars in it)...

I was then pulled over by a police officer who was sitting in a parking lot connected to the side lane for not signaling while I changed lanes!

I got a ticket for acting quickly and getting out of the way of an ambulance without signaling! LOL
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:25 PM   #6
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I have a funny little story regarding this issue. Literally the day after I heard about this new regulation, I had an ambulance behind me who just turned on his lights and siren. I immediately turned around and saw he was right behind me and turned to the side lane (no cars in it)...

I was then pulled over by a police officer who was sitting in a parking lot connected to the side lane for not signaling while I changed lanes!

I got a ticket for acting quickly and getting out of the way of an ambulance without signaling! LOL
Just goes to prove that no good deed goes unpunished.
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:50 PM   #7
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I don't think they went far enough with the new law.... Drivers should be required to slow to 1/2 of the current speed limit (when passing emergency vehicles) to keep things safe.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:29 AM   #8
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This is the first time I've heard of this, glad I surfed to this forum on a whim. I bet it will be a shock to some drivers.
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:06 PM   #9
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"slow down and move over for emg vehicles"

it shows how sad society is when they have to pass laws for things that should be common sense.

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Old 06-09-2009, 04:14 PM   #10
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I don't think they went far enough with the new law.... Drivers should be required to slow to 1/2 of the current speed limit (when passing emergency vehicles) to keep things safe.
so if a police car is on the highway shoulder and you're in the HOV lane, 40 feet away, you should slow down to 40?....

maybe on a single lane road where the car is blocking half your lane.

both of these require desecration from the driver. and both outcomes would be different. which is why broad rules like this are ridiculous and insult man kind's ability to think for himself.

there are already laws / rules for unsafe and dangerous driving. more laws aren't going to make the people on the side of the road any safer from poeple who don't already follow any rules.
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:38 PM   #11
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great more laws
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:38 PM   #12
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The BC Government put out a press release on it in mid-April. I followed up with an article on my web site. If you are interested, you can use RSS to keep track of my site, which often contains new articles in addition to what I post here.

http://www.drivesmartbc.ca/rss.xml
WE may know about it because of RevScene, but how is everyone else in BC supposed to know of this new rule?

I certainly have not come across it anywhere else.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:15 PM   #13
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WE may know about it because of RevScene, but how is everyone else in BC supposed to know of this new rule?

I certainly have not come across it anywhere else.
It was front page of the Province not long ago. Probably was on the Sun, and likely got mention in the other little dailies too (24 Hours, Dose, etc.). I've also seen in covered in the local weeklies (Maple Ridge Times, etc.). All the news/traffic stations have covered it as well.

You have to live in a cave to have not heard about it.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:02 PM   #14
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WE may know about it because of RevScene, but how is everyone else in BC supposed to know of this new rule?

I certainly have not come across it anywhere else.
Exactly what I was thinking too, thanks to RS I am now aware of this. I think its a great idea, especially with your super small BC highways. Getting used to the 2 lane number one has been an adventure. I would hate to be doing any road work here. I see so many idots on their phones, texting, dumb little dogs on their lap, drifting in and out of lanes. I am used to big open highways of Toronto, where driving while on your phone is a big no no. This is a great law.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:45 AM   #15
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You say emergency workers,but does yellow lights mean tow trucks and Highway Workers too?
I was heading into Nanaimo today and there was a street sweeping operation going on (near the Lantzville Industrial are)and even though they had a flashing arrow to tell traffic to move over ,not only did a number of vehicles stay in the lane closest to the sweeper ,but didn't slow down either.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:38 AM   #16
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Street-sweeping is not an emergency.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:58 AM   #17
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is that what the ambulance workers were on strike about? ahahaha just kidding guys, just kidding..
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:44 PM   #18
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Street-sweeping is not an emergency.
That depends on what is being swept up



Question as it pertains to the law - if the emergency vehicle is stopped on the shoulder of a three-lane road (three lanes in the same direction) Does this law require drivers to move into the FAR lane or is the center lane acceptable?

I guess I should also ask - what distance is the reduced speed limit in effect? 20m behind and in front of the emergency vehicle? Only immediately beside it? Not worried about it from a legal point of view, but if I see a police car 100 meters ahead, I don't want to be slamming on the brakes and moving into the left lane. Common sense will always prevail, however I was almost rear ended after rapidly slowing down as I approached a stopped police car that had pulled someone over around a bend. (I couldn't see it until about 20 meters).

Last edited by sebberry; 07-01-2009 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:25 AM   #19
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So before this we didnt have to move over for Police, and Stuff..

so i could have just sat in my lane and not let a cop car with its flashing lights go by..

I just assumed it was already a rule.. when do people not slow down and pull over to let emergency vehicles by..

Crazy.
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:16 AM   #20
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So before this we didnt have to move over for Police, and Stuff..

so i could have just sat in my lane and not let a cop car with its flashing lights go by..

I just assumed it was already a rule.. when do people not slow down and pull over to let emergency vehicles by..

Crazy.
READING FAIL.

That's always been the law... this is different.

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Emergency workers are very happy with BC's new slow down, move over law that came into effect June 1, 2009. When they are stopped at the side of the highway and displaying flashing lights, red, blue or yellow, approaching traffic is required to slow down and move over. This will provide a safe workspace for the emergency workers and hopefully also for those who are driving past.

The slow down half of the law requires overtaking motorists to slow to 70 km/h on highways posted at 80 km/h and higher and to 40 km/h in all other speed zones. My guess is that when this speed is enforced, very little, if any, wiggle room will be allowed. If you choose not to slow down to at least match the limit if not a bit less, you choose to risk a ticket.

The move over portion requires that if it is safe to do so, you will move into the unoccupied adjacent lanes. This could mean the adjacent lane in the same direction if there are multiple lanes, or the oncoming lane if there are not. Remember, if you have to use the oncoming lane, you have no lawful excuse to encroach on it when there is oncoming traffic.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:34 PM   #21
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That depends on what is being swept up



Question as it pertains to the law - if the emergency vehicle is stopped on the shoulder of a three-lane road (three lanes in the same direction) Does this law require drivers to move into the FAR lane or is the center lane acceptable?

I guess I should also ask - what distance is the reduced speed limit in effect? 20m behind and in front of the emergency vehicle? Only immediately beside it? Not worried about it from a legal point of view, but if I see a police car 100 meters ahead, I don't want to be slamming on the brakes and moving into the left lane. Common sense will always prevail, however I was almost rear ended after rapidly slowing down as I approached a stopped police car that had pulled someone over around a bend. (I couldn't see it until about 20 meters).

Officers?
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:49 PM   #22
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Adjacent means lane beside. Using the center lane would be sufficient.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:12 PM   #23
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READING FAIL.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:39 PM   #24
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How exactly is this enforced? If there is one officer at the roadside looking at someone's licence with fifty cars driving by in excess of the "work zone" limit.. Who is going to take this seriously?

Or another scenario: I see the police/fire/tow truck, etc.. at the side of the road after a bend and attempt to slow from 110 to the required 70 but I can only safely make it down to 85 due to a tailgater who doesn't yet know about (or care about) this law. Who is in the wrong? Do I get penalized for not being able to slow down or does the guy behind me get the ticket for failing to slow down AND following too closely?
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:44 PM   #25
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The tailgater in your scenario doesn't have to know about the law, does he? As long as he's smart enough to avoid hitting you, he'll either be limited to whatever speed you're doing, or he'll pass you. Your speed is not controlled by anyone behind you - if he can't slow down as fast as you, he'll hit you and be 100% at fault.
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